THE HELL – Live Review – 27/11/14

As you may know if you’ve read my previous post on my top ten albums of the year; THE HELL’s second album Groovehammer landed quite highly on my list, scoring 6th place. The album’s received almost daily play on my iPod, and become a real surprise hit in terms of my favourite albums this year. So, I decided to venture out to the Boileroom in Guildford on a cold Thursday evening and check out the band’s much talked about live performance on the first date of their ‘A SHITEMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS TOUR’.

Guildford Boiler Room

Support came in the form of Flesh Trench, The Deadlights and Toska, who carried the evening along nicely until THE HELL hit the stage.

Toska, a tech prog metal mashup displayed some serious talent, a real trio who know their instruments intimately. The guitarist in particular showcased skills I’d expect from a Joe Satriani or Steve Ray Vaughn. His riffs could bring a grown man to his knees, but the band really lacked the impressive stage presence of later bands in the evening. A 20 minute talent show without any interaction proved for some pretty boring viewing in the latter time, taking into consideration each song seemed to blend into the next. Certainly a band to watch, but definitely in need of some tweaking. 7/10

Toska - Guildford

The Deadlights, a 4 piece channelling Biffy Clyro and Rush with their indie-prog failed to impress. While technically proficient and talented, the band did very little else than wail on the highs of their guitars while the other members slowly bashed away. The songs blended together, and the boys looked bored to tears at their own sound. Mostly, a very odd fit for this night, the band seem like an after thought to add some time between sets. Add to that a lack of vocals and perhaps even less stage banter, and you have for a very dull, forgettable performance. 5/10

The Deadlights - Guildford

Flesh Trench came on stage at a point where, I think I could speak for everyone when I say, we were ready for THE HELL. It was getting late, and some of us had trains to catch, and given the last act, we were ready for some brutality. What we got was like nothing I have ever seen. Each wearing a distinctive mask, the three piece continued to bludgeon the crowd with their mix of Primus and Napalm Death, or at least that’s what I could pick out in the mass of sound. The band’s performance brought everything to the table, with energetic movement and some truly chaotic moves, peppering between song lulls with both eerie clips from pop culture and strange noises. A Frank Sidebottom channelling vocalist and a awe inspiring drummer kept the crowd enteratined throughout their white noise performance, and with a truly surprising cover of Refused’s New Noise, the set was something Guildford won’t forget for a long time. I certainly won’t. 9/10

Flesh Trench - Guildford

Now, I was concerned that when THE HELL finally did hit the stage, we’d have to leave before it even got started. How wrong I was. Taunting and berating the rabid crowd throughout, the band thrashed through their best work in a record time of 45 minutes. Starting in true THE HELL fashion with a brutal version of YOU’RE LISTENING TO THE HELL, the band went on to unleash 14 tracks of hardcore beauty, including Bangers and Mosh, I’ve Never Seen A Jackal On The 142 and second album Groovehammer’s title track, to great satisfaction of the audience. Never has a crowd been so pleased to be abused. Jabs at artists such as Drake and The Lighthouse Family prove to give everyone in the room a chuckle, and the hell close their high octane, unforgettable set with their very own IT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING HELL YOU DICK. Technically the band are tight, and despite on-stage antics nothing throws them off. For a venue so small, the band packed a punch you wouldn’t ever expect. If there’s anything to take from this night, it’s that you should probably listen to THE HELL, you dick. 9/10

THE HELL - Guildford

Catch THE HELL on the remaining dates of their A NIGHTMARE BEFORE SHITEMAS TOUR:

28/11 Milton Keynes Crauford Arms
29/11 Peterborough Met Lounge
30/11 Bristol Exchange

04/12 Birmingham Oobleck
05/12 Nottingham Stealth
06/12 Stoke Underground
07/12 Sheffield Corporation

11/12 Brighton Audio
12/12 Glasgow Audio
13/12 Middlesborough Crown
14/12 Manchester Soup Kitchen

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